'Strength I never knew': Girl can't walk after freak accident
SHE'S meeting national celebrities, indulging in daily face-painting and has starred on radio but behind the excitement Tembi-Rae Ward is facing her biggest challenge yet
Just two weeks ago, when the 9-year-old was leaving school for the last day for the year, she was hit by a bus.
Most of the damage was to her feet and left arm and leg.
AS IT HAPPENED |
Mum Dimmity Ward said her daughter, who is now in the burns unit at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, had skin graft surgery on both of her feet.
Ligaments and muscles in her left knee were torn in the accident too, which she said would heal with time and physiotherapy.
"She's usually my sooky la-la, being the youngest of five ... But now she's shown me strength I never knew she had, and I've been feeding off her strength," Dimmity said.
"Her feet are the main concern right now, we're not sure when she'll be able to walk again so we're just taking it day by day."
Dimmity said it could take anywhere between 12 months to two years for Tembi-Rae's recovery.
The pain each day is eased by the comforting visits and initiatives at the children's hospital, including meeting Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning.
The Agnes Water family snapped photos with the surfer while he was visiting the hospital.
Fanning gave Tembi-Rae a pair of new headphones as a gift.
Dimmity, feeling a touch star-struck, told the surfer they lived at Agnes Water, Australia's northern-most surfing beach.
"He said he had heard that Agnes was a lovely beach, we told him we'd love to see him visit and surf there," she said.
Dimmity said she will spend Christmas day at the hospital with her daughter and husband Kragg.